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The Earthly X

Bedtime, right? That shit sucks.

It feels like you're climbing the steepest of hills, every time.

You're at the end of your day, and you're tired. But for one half hour, you get to round your kids up, force them through whatever means necessary to pick up all their toys and clean up all the messes they made throughout the house during the day, the ones you didn't have the energy to protest and ask them to clean up before.

Protest. That's a good word. Because bedtime is a kid's time to protest. But isn't it so understandable? Why go to bed when there's so much life to live? You sleep a third of your life away!

Aaah, yes, that's what we all tell ourselves in the beginning. But then the responsibilities keep on piling up and before you know it, you're in the middle of a snoregasm. Bedtime, boring. Fuhh.

It's tough, making your kids go to bed. And the day leading up to it isn't fun, either. Just today I started to lose my shit when I was cleaning the bathroom and my kids were out in the living room making a mess, a mess they had already made previously in the day, which I previously told them to clean up.

They were having such fun making the mess, too. It's putting the couch cushions all over the floor. And they looked so not-having-fun when my Mad Dada voice surprised them out of their laughter.

Not only do I have to spend all my mental energy worrying about what which one of my kids is fucking up in the room I'm not in, but I have to make myself seem like a Cleaning Nazi to do it.

You know, Lucy's better about it. She's 4.5 and she's starting to get it. Little 2.5-year-old BB, though... that one is in the naughty phase. Ripping pages, getting into the toolbox, putting crayons in the fan, hiding remotes in the couch cushions, hiding shoes under the couches, hiding pillows and pairs of pants under the tv stand, spilling entire bowls of food not 2min after I gave them to her (underneath the middle of the table, not near the edge, where she was sitting), wiping her food all over her face, the table, the floor, her clothes, not the napkin and wet cloth I just gave her ....

When I give them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which they love and ask for every day, I not only have to make the sandwich, cut it, search for plates, and couple it with milk, I have stand there and hang around to make sure they're not making complete messes of themselves while they eat it. It's way more of a job than just simply serving some food to someone. I mean, yeah PB$J is messy, but ..

All I'm saying is I really am looking forward to the day when they can put themfucking selves to bed, clean up their own excrement, and prepare their own goddam food.

But today I had an epiphany related to this. I was thinking this exact same thing, standing at the sink, over the insane pile of dishes in front of me, staring out the window. I was thinking how nice it would be if my kids were just a little older.

Then it hit me--with their age, comes my age. I'll also be older. And I like where I'm at right now. I'm in my PRIME, man! I'm 31! It's awesome! My body's slowing down just enough that I'm over the kid-ness of growing up, and I can really start asking for responsibility and treating it well in the job market, not just with other kids, but other adults!

But I chose to have kids when I was 27. So now I'm spending the prime of my life cleaning up after kids who do nothing but make messes, don't understand why it's not alright to make messes, and cry at me when I yell at them to stop making messes.

Then they'll grow up, leave my house, and never look back. Exactly what I did to my parents.

Life is circular.

My answer to all this, to myself, was two-fold. First, sleep in the bed you made, man, and stop being a bitch about it. Second, appreciate who your kids are at this stage of their lives, because they're only going to age, and right now they just don't know any better, and you have to teach them!

I think adding to or easing me into my mild freakout today was that I've had two interviews lately and didn't get either job and it's sort of depressing. I'm stressing about money in our household, and feeling like people don't want me to even work for them, that I'll never get out of this financial rut that I'm in, and that I also have to keep up the job search and I'm kind of dreading any more interviews.

But you know what? I'm more than qualified for both jobs I interviewed for. The reasons I didn't get them are reasons that I can stand behind. Ask me if you want further explanation, I don't feel like getting into it right now. I have to go to sleep so I can be a good dad tomorrow.

You know, all I wanted to do today was take a shower. It just didn't happen. I blame .... X.

X can only be myself. It's not my girls' fault. It's not my wife's fault. It's not the job market's fault. I can only blame X. X is myself.

It's the harmonious way the world works. You raise your kids, you propagate your species. You do what you have to to get by. You fill your life with whatever small happinesses you like to experience to compensate for the raw struggle and energy that life simply requires. It is neither good nor bad, not positive or negative. It simply is.

We are all Xs, while the Earth simply turns, and waits. Waits for us all to die so it can go on living without all these germs on its body, building cities and shit.

X is myself. I fully embrace this role. It will do for now. That is, until space travel becomes streamlined, and terraformation a reality.

WHhhhoooshhh, I'm outta here!